How to Remove Bathtub Drain of Every Type

In this article, you will find thorough instruction on how to remove bathtub drain - you can choose the method by type or by the tools' accessibility
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Last updatedLast updated: September 20, 2022
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Every bathtub needs a drain to get rid of the water when you’re showering or after taking a bath. Unfortunately, after a while, these drains don’t necessarily work as well as they originally did. They may start to drain more slowly or stop working altogether, keeping the water in the tub instead of releasing it.

When this happens, you’ll need to know how to remove a bathtub drain to get rid of any clogs that are preventing the water from draining properly or replace the bathtub drain with a new one. Though you can call a plumber to get this job done, you can instead try to remove your old bathtub drain yourself to save some money and learn a new skill.

Tools You’ll Need

There are a wide variety of bathtubs that you can purchase, including luxury bathtubs or space-saving corner bathtubs, and all of them include some type of drain. There are a few types available, though they usually require the same tools for removal.

If you want to take out your bathtub drain Trusted Source How Does a Bathtub Overflow Drain Work? Preventing an overflow in your bathroom is vital if you want to avoid damage and the need for an extensive clean-up effort. myvegasplumber.com , you’ll need a drain wrench, like the Armour Line Tub Drain Remover Wrench, which is a heavy-duty model with dual ends for different drain sizes. You’ll also need a screwdriver and a hairdryer.

Remove bathtub drain by type

There are several drain types Trusted Source Infectious Fungus Common In Household Drains The fungus that causes moldy toenails and rare, serious eye infections lurks in many bathroom sink drains, researchers say. www.npr.org  that you may be dealing with when trying to get the drain out of your tub. Though they differ in how they work, so how you remove them may differ, though the removal of the drain is almost the same.

How to Remove Bathtub Drain of Every Type

Push-pull stopper

Push-pull stoppers have a small knob on top of them that is used to open and close the drain. To remove these bathtub drain plugs, you need to put them in the open position, then hold the stopper’s body with one hand while turning the knob counterclockwise with the other hand. Then you need to unscrew the bathtub drain stopper and remove it. Then heat and unscrew the drain.

Pop-up stopper

A pop-up stopper needs to be pushed down to close it and then pushed again to open it. For bathtub pop-up drain removal, open the stopper, then turn it to unscrew it. Then unscrew the drain’s shaft. This process may require a screwdriver. Then use your hair dryer to heat the drain and remove it as described above.

Toe touch stopper

These pieces are used by pushing the stopper down with your toe, hence their name. To remove one, set it to the open position, then turn the stopper’s cap counterclockwise to unscrew it. Then unscrew the shaft cylinder, using the same counterclockwise direction to remove it from the threaded crossbar. Heat and unscrew the drain.

Trip-lever stopper

A trip-lever stopper has a lever that is connected to the drain stopper by a rod mechanism. To close the stopper, the lever must be lifted and then pushed down to release the water in the tub. The stopper is also hidden, with a strainer over it.

To remove it, set it to the open position, then unscrew the faceplate and pull it free. The other hardware connected to the faceplate should come with it with some wiggling. Then remove the rest of the drain using your hair dryer and wrench as described above.

Flipping stopper

These are the easiest to remove since they aren’t actually installed in the drain but instead pushed into them when needed. They include a toggle lever that is pushed to one side or the other to open or close it. To remove it from the drain, you just pull it free, then use your hairdryer and wrench on the rest of the drain.

Lift-turn stopper

A lift-turn stopper includes a small knob on the cap that is twisted to open and close it. To remove it, turn the knob counterclockwise to unthread it from the center bolt. Then use a screwdriver to unscrew the stopper bolt. Now you can remove the rest of the drain using your hairdryer and drain wrench.

How to Remove Bathtub Drain without the Tool

If you don’t have a drain wrench, it is still possible to remove a tub drain without it, though you’ll need some pliers for the job. These Long Nose Locking Pliers are a good option due to the durable chrome molybdenum jaws and 6-inch length.

Step 1. Remove stopper

How to Remove Bathtub Drain of Every TypeThe first thing to do is to remove the tub stopper, based on the type of stopper is in the drain, using the instructions we’ve provided above.

Step 2. Remove screen

How to Remove Bathtub Drain of Every TypeOnce the stopper is removed, you need to remove the grille that is in place to prevent larger debris from going down the drain. Use a screwdriver to pry this piece loose, though some of them do have a screw that needs to be removed as well.

Step 3. Heat drain

Drains are fitted into place using sealant, which needs to be heated to loosen it and make the drain removal easier. You can apply heat to the drain using your hairdryer. This should only take a few minutes.

How to Remove Bathtub Drain of Every TypeStep 4. Use pliers

Once the sealant is warm and pliable, you can use a pair of long nose pliers to grip the metal crossbar inside the drain. Be extra careful to avoid breaking these pieces by gripping the hub instead of an individual arm. Once the pliers are locked in place, use another pair to grip the pliers. Gently unscrew the bathtub drain.

If there are no crossbars, you can use a tub drain extractor, like the PlumBest J40018R3 Extract-a-Drain, which features expandable jaws and can be used with a ratchet wrench.

How to Remove Bathtub Drain of Every TypeStep 5. Clean opening

Clean the drain opening in the tub, removing any old sealant using a knife or screwdriver. Wipe it with a cloth and bathroom cleanser.

How to Remove Bathtub Drain of Every TypeStep 6. Install new drain

Now that you’ve removed your broken bathtub drain, you can install the new drain that you’ve purchased.

How to Remove Bathtub Drain of Every TypeRemove Bathtub Drain by Brand

There are many brands to choose from when it comes to bathtub drains, including the two popular choices we’ll discuss below.

Kohler

How to Remove Bathtub Drain of Every TypeKohler has a few different options to pick from, so you need to first figure out which one is in the tub before you can remove a Kohler bathtub drain stopper. Once you’ve determined the type, remove it using the above instructions, and then take the rest of the drain out using the hairdryer to heat the sealant and the drain wrench to pull the drain free.

Moen

How to Remove Bathtub Drain of Every TypeMoen has been in business since the 1940s, so it’s no wonder they have a few bathtub drain options available. To remove them, first determine which type you have in your tub, then use the proper procedure to take the stopper out first. Then you can remove the rest of the drain.

Final Thoughts

A working bathtub drain is important for a few reasons. It keeps the water in the tub while you’re taking a bath and it allows the water to flow smoothly out when you’re done or during a shower. When the drain doesn’t do its job, you have a leaky bath or a puddle of water that isn’t leaving the tub as it’s supposed to.

Though you can call a plumber to fix these types of issues, learning how to remove a bathtub drain to fix or replace it can save you some time and money. The task is rather simple, so even the least handy person in your home should be able to accomplish it in little time.

References

1.
How Does a Bathtub Overflow Drain Work?
Preventing an overflow in your bathroom is vital if you want to avoid damage and the need for an extensive clean-up effort.
2.
Infectious Fungus Common In Household Drains
The fungus that causes moldy toenails and rare, serious eye infections lurks in many bathroom sink drains, researchers say.
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